Got out of Tokyo for a day about a week ago. The trip was organised by JICA and they put a bunch of us foreigners from Tokyo on a bus to Nagano (which is the inner mountainous area on this island). We were to spend the day with JICA Volunteers soon to be sent off to their respective host countries.
Was nice getting away from the lights and concrete and driving into the green (still slightly snow-capped) mountains. When there, we were put into separate language groups of English, Spanish and French. My group had one volunteer bound for Fiji, two for Palau and two for Rwanda.
On the visiting side there was me and a (spiritual leader) from Mozambique with X's in his name!!! (yes, kaicolo) The Mozambique guy was carrying a stick...which was apparently sacred and would be used as weapons in the old days. It had a rounded top, almost like those old Fiji war clubs. For all its worth, the guy actually forgot it on his chair when he was leaving. I had to yell after him and point to the stick, a little scared to actually touch it myself. Now he owes a random Fijian girl for life. Yes.
During the snack break/reception thing I met with some other volunteers bound for Fiji, 4 in total. They were all asking questions about what to expect and putting their fears to rest (or igniting them further :P )
They asked about the humidity in Suva, the beauty of Sigatoka, if Nadi actually had anything interesting and perhaps the most amusing of all:
"is it true that the buses don't have windows?"